I know very little about unemployment so if someone can enlighten me, I welcome the input. I have a lot of friends in various unions who spend the majority of the winter on unemployment. They sign up and collect their checks. They just sit around and wait for the union hall to call when a job becomes available. When their unemployment runs out they sign up for an extention. My brother inlaw recently got laid off and he is now on unemployment for the first time in his life (He is 45). He has to attend a manditory training class and provide a list of contacts and companies that he interviews with. I find it amazing that the unions members do not have to jump through these hoops because they appear to be the people who use the majority of the unemployment funds. If the union members spend 4 to 6 months of the year on unemployment, shouldn't their unions be charged a higher rate for the services than companies who keep their employers working year round? I believe my brother inlaw can be on unemployment for 9 months and then he can get an extention (3 months? I am not sure). Lets say he can be on unemployment for 12 months and then it runs out... He has been working full time since he got out of college at 22. So he has worked 23 years and he will collect 1 year of unemployment and then his services run out. If a union worker is on unemployment 5 months every year from age 22 to 45, He would have spent 9 years and 7 months on unemployment. If you do not use the service shouldn't the money that your employer contributed be in an account so that you can get your fair share if you need it? If my brother in law needs it for 18 months he should be able to use it for 18 months considering the amount that has been contributed in his name. When he finds a job, the chances are he will not be back again next year like the usual suspects.